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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-23

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.119/06 23.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Talat from Izmir. He accuses the EU for accepting Cyprus although still under Turkish occupation.
  • [02] Talat repeats that the aim of the Compensation Commission is not to solve the properties issue.
  • [03] The self-styled Minister of Interior explained to the colonizers of Akanthou the new Property Law.
  • [04] AFRIKA: The Property Compensation Commission ignored a decision taken by a court that the closed city of Varosha belongs to the waqf.
  • [05] Kemal Deniz says agreement was reached with the EU on the International Companies Law.
  • [06] The President of the Turkish Cypriot chamber of Industry explains that lifting the isolation is tantamount to recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
  • [07] HURRIYET: Cyprus´ Ambassador to Russia was forced to pass a night in Baku by visiting clubs and restaurants.
  • [08] Proposals by the US Council on Foreign Relations.
  • [09] Reports that President Bush pressed the EU on Turkey and occupied Cyprus.10. Statement by the National Security Council following its meeting.
  • [11] Controversy in Turkey over whether Erdogan´s adviser is linked to Islamic terrorism financier.
  • [12] The occupied areas of the Republic suffer from the Brucella and Meadi-visna animal diseases.
  • [13] The National Security Council discussed whether membership to European Airspace will mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [14] Mesut Yilmaz: I may return to politics.
  • [15] Turkish army exercise for the press became real attack against PKK. National Defense data on casualties since the Kurdish uprising in 1984.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIAL AND ANALYSIS

  • [16] Summary of reports and commentaries on issues from the Turkish agenda.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Talat from Izmir. He accuses the EU for accepting Cyprus although still under Turkish occupation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.06.06) reported from Izmir that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, on Thursday in an exclusive interview with the A.A. said that the Republic of Cyprus brings the issue of opening of Turkish ports and airports onto the agenda in the Turkey-the EU entry talks even on the chapters which do not concern foreign policy.

    He said: Actually, it is not surprising since we expect it. We already knew that the Greek Cypriot administration would assume an extremely tough stance. It was the EU which was surprised. Now, the EU has begun understanding how it got into such a serious trouble by accepting membership of the Greek Cypriot administration."

    "If the isolation of Turkish Cypriots is not lifted, Turkey's extending its customs union to cover the ten new EU-member countries and opening of Turkish ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot traffic will not make any contribution to efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue," he said.

    "We are not opposed to opening of Turkish ports and airports. But the isolation of Turkish Cypriots should be lifted at the same time," Talat stressed.

    Recalling that he sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan ten days ago about technical committees, Mr Talat said: The Greek Cypriot administration has been hampering the process. I sent another letter to Annan in which I expressed our uneasiness over the Greek Cypriot administration's attitude."

    Noting that it was clearly explained in a document on what conditions the negotiations are suspended, Talat said that membership talks are withheld, "if democracy is suspended or seriously interrupted in the country during negotiations." He added that negotiations cannot be interrupted due to any other reason.

    When asked whether his views about the Cyprus problem have changed since he started his term in office as President, Talat said: "In the past, I had always warned that THE Cyprus problem should be solved till the Copenhagen summit, and Turkish Cypriots should prove that they want solution. I had also said that if Greek Cypriots don't want solution, it must be shown to the whole world. Now, it is revealed that I was telling the truth. I saw that former `President´ Rauf Denktas was not right. Denktas was claiming that Greek Cypriots would not want solution. But this is not important. The important thing is to show it to the whole world."

    Stressing that isolation of the occupied areas should be lifted, Talat said: "When `isolations´ are lifted, Greek Cypriots will see that `TRNC´ is not dependent on them. They will see Turkish Cypriots' getting united with the whole world, and then they will want to solve the Cyprus question."

    [02] Talat repeats that the aim of the Compensation Commission is not to solve the properties issue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.06.06) reported the following from occupied Nicosia:

    ["Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus"] President Mehmet Ali Talat has said, in terms of the Greek Cypriot administration's reaction to the decision taken by the Property Compensation Commission, that "We were not expecting the Greek Cypriots to say 'You handled it beautifully.'" Talat stated that it will be not the Greek Cypriot side, but rather the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that will decide whether or not the Property Compensation Commission has worked effectively and generated solutions.

    Talat, asserting that the Property Compensation Commission has generated important and comprehensive decisions, said that "A commission that operates like a court has, in such a short time, generated such important and comprehensive decisions. This is truly a success."

    Completing his contacts in Izmir and returning to the KKTC, Talat, responding to questions from journalists at Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport, commented upon the rulings of the Property Compensation Commission and the Greek Cypriot administration's reactions thereto.

    Stating that he had not been expecting the Greek Cypriot administration to tell him "You have handled it beautifully", Talat said that the ECHR had wanted the creation of a legal path to which those who claimed they had been disadvantaged in terms of their properties could apply even in the event of a lack of a solution [to the Cyprus dispute], and that they had then created such a legal path, and that this was the important thing.

    Stating that, with this legal path, they are aspiring neither to resolve the immovable properties issue nor resolve the problems of all of those who have been disadvantaged, Talat asserted that they would generate solutions for those individuals who want their losses to be compensated for under conditions of a lack of a solution, that this is their ambition, and that they have set out upon this path.

    President Talat, noting that the goal is a comprehensive solution, and that that solution will establish a regime to cover properties, said: "We have today created a temporary formula, under conditions of no solution. Whoever does not like the Commission's ruling can apply to the Supreme Administrative Court, and whoever disagrees with its ruling can then apply to the ECHR. The important thing is that this Commission be a Commission that functions effectively and produces solutions."

    Stressing that it will not be the Greek Cypriot government, but rather the ECHR that determines whether or not the Commission is operating effectively and generating solutions, Talat said that "The ECHR is going to take up this issue at an appropriate time and with an appropriate procedure; if it should consider it an appropriate internal legal channel, then it will transfer the cases before it here (i.e., to the KKTC), and it (the ECHR) will determine the other possibilities."

    Talat said: "We have carried out our responsibility. In my view, our Commission has functioned well. A commission that operates like a court has, in such a short time, generated such important and comprehensive decisions. This is truly a success."

    Pointing out that the Commission had been established in three months and had generated some solutions in the three months thereafter, Talat noted that work would continue for applications made hereafter, and that there will be a process in which the ECHR evaluates the matter.

    [03] The self-styled Minister of Interior explained to the colonizers of Akanthou the new Property Law

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.06.06) broadcast the following:

    The Minister of Interior Ozkan Murat has said that the new Property Law envisages the immediate reinstatement of immovable properties currently not in possession of a TRNC citizen.

    Mr Ozkan Murat said theres no ground for concern over the start of the functioning of the Property Commission, as the rulings to be reached will cover only those properties currently not being used by anyone.

    Chatting with villagers in the Tatlisu (occupied Akanthou) village yesterday afternoon, Mr Murat answered questions regarding the Property Law and its taking force.

    He made it clear the reinstatement of land envisaged by the new Property Law will only take place within the framework and in line with details to be reached as part of a future solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He also added that property compensations will be paid by the State.

    Yesterday, the Immovable Property Commission set up to deal with Greek Cypriot property claims in the TRNC ordered the reinstatement of lands formerly owned by two Greek Cypriots in the village of Tatlisu (occupied Akanthou) to the east of Girne (occupied Kyrenia).

    [04] AFRIKA: The Property Compensation Commission ignored a decision taken by a court that the closed city of Varosha belongs to the waqf

    Under the title Was it not an inheritance of Pasa? Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (23.06.06) comments about the recent developments as regards the so-called Property Compensation Commissions decisions and notes that the occupation regime does not recognise its own decisions.

    AFRIKA goes on and writes the following:

    The Property Compensation Commission which offered a 460 Cyprus Pounds compensation to Aresti, whose house is in the closed city of Varosha, did not recognise the decision taken on the 27th of December 2005 by the Famagusta District Court

    In the decision taken six months ago at the Famagusta Court, it was pointed out that the entire closed city of Varosha is a religious foundation (waqf) property which belongs to the Turkish Cypriots.

    According to the Courts decision, a large part of the closed city of Varosha belongs to Abdullah Pasa religious foundation and an important part belongs to Lala Mustafa Pasa religious foundation

    The lawyer Ergin Ulunay who filed a lawsuit against the TRNC on the name of the waqfs stated that the title deeds which dated on the period 1920-1930 are possessed and it was documented that these properties were distributed to the Greek Cypriots by the British Administration.

    The Property Compensation Commission by offering compensation to Arestis did not take into consideration the decisions of the Famagusta Courts.

    (C/S)

    [05] Kemal Deniz says agreement was reached with the EU on the International Companies Law

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.06.06) reports the following from Istanbul:

    If International Enterprise Companies Law (which is implemented in TRNC as well) is promoted well, 10,000 international companies can be interested in TRNC by the end of 2007, said Economy & Tourism Minister Kemal Deniz of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    In a meeting on "Great Investment Opportunities in TRNC" in Istanbul with participation of Turkish-American Businessmen's Association (TABA) Chairman Adnan Nas, Deniz said, "TRNC has been under economic isolations for a long time. There are difficulties in export and import areas. TRNC has exerted great efforts to overcome these difficulties. EU took a decision about this issue, but direct trade has not started yet."

    "TRNC can develop itself especially in services sector. We attach importance to tourism and university areas. Besides these two areas, TRNC has started to offer important advantages regarding International Enterprise Companies Law issue," he added.

    Informing about the law, Deniz said: "International Enterprise Companies cover companies, partnerships or branches which are established and registered in TRNC, and shareholders of these companies are foreigners. All activities of the enterprise are pursued out of TRNC borders."

    Deniz said that TRNC adjusted its 20 laws with EU acquis within last two years although it is kept out of EU acquis. "We have reached an agreement with the EU regarding International Enterprise Companies Law," he added.

    "International Enterprise Companies are subject to 10 percent tax in Greek Cypriot side, and today 90,000 international companies are operating by benefiting from this law in Greek Cypriot side. This law will be very beneficial in employment of educated labor force in TRNC," said Deniz.

    [06] The President of the Turkish Cypriot chamber of Industry explains that lifting the isolation is tantamount to recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.06.06) broadcast the following:

    The President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry Musa Sonmezler has expressed the view that the opening of Turkish sea and airports to Greek Cypriot shipping and aircraft will mean the non-recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus by Turkey.

    Mr Sonmezler said the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Greek Cypriot shipping and aircraft before the lifting of the international isolation on the Turkish Cypriot People will spell the end of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Mr Sonmezlers words came at a panel in Izmir, titled, the Economy of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from the European Union perspective.

    In his speech, Mr Sonmezler said the possible opening of Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot shipping before the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people will give a message that Turkey does not recognize the TRNC.

    Musa Sonmezler expressed the view that this will be followed by a Greek Cypriot Embassy being opened in Ankara, rendering Turkish Cypriots decades-long struggle for existence, meaningless.

    Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of creating a psychological barrier in the way of free trade between the two sides in Cyprus, he said that efforts to improve and boost trade with the South will continue despite all the obstacles in the way.

    He added that the TRNC economy is strong enough to compete with the Greek Cypriot Side in spite of all restrictions and hardships being faced as a result of the unjustified international isolation.

    Also speaking at the panel was the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami who stressed the need for Turkey to continue to be a strong country.

    [07] HURRIYET: Cyprus´ Ambassador to Russia was forced to pass a night in Baku by visiting clubs and restaurants

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (23.06.06) reports in its front page under the headline Alone in the Restaurant and claims that Cypruss ambassador to Russia Leonidas Pantelides, who went to Baku, Azerbaijan for lobbying efforts at the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC) Foreign Ministers meeting, was forced to pass a night in Baku by visiting night clubs and restaurants, because the Baku regime with Turkeys intervention refused to give accreditation to him and reserve a hotel as he demanded from the Baku regime, prior to his arrival to Baku on 19 June 2006.

    The paper further claims that the ambassador, despite the refusal by the Azeri authorities to provide accreditation, arrived in the Azeri capital on 19 June to carry out lobbying work in the OIC meeting. And since no hotel reservation was made Ambassador Pantelides was forced to pass the night in Baku by visiting night clubs and restaurants and next morning he called on the Greek embassy in Baku for help. HURRIYET reports that Ambassador Pantelides was kept under close surveillance by the Azeri officials during his visit to Baku.

    [08] Proposals by the US Council on Foreign Relations

    HURRIYET reports that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the USA has published a report in which it made number of proposals in order to normalize USA-Turkey relations which were soured by the 1st March decree. The CFR proposed the following:

    The Cyprus problem should not be allowed to be an obstacle in Turkeys EU membership. One of the US diplomatic tasks should be, by using its strong ties with the EU, to secure Turkeys place in the Western world;

    The USA should use its influence on the EU to make the Greek Cypriot side to be constructive. The USA should appoint a Cyprus Special Coordinator which is vacant for some time now;

    The USA could upgrade its diplomatic representation in the TRNC. US warships of the US fleet could call TRNC ports. The USA could develop its trade with the TRNC.

    As a long term plan the CFR proposed the establishment of a Turkish-American Cooperation Council. The report, which was compiled by Steven Cook and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, also proposes that the Bush Administration continue to oppose Armenian genocide bills.

    (MHY)

    [09] Reports that President Bush pressed the EU on Turkey and occupied Cyprus

    Turkish HURRIYET newspaper internet version in English (22.06.06) publishes the following report under the title: Bush backs Turkey's EU membership while in Vienna:

    During a European Union-United States meeting in Vienna hosted by EU Term President Austria, US President George W. Bush urged the EU states not to block Turkeys EU membership. Stressing that the US had always lent support to Turkeys EU membership, Bush said that Turkey should join the club.

    Furthermore, the US President reportedly also called on the EU to make more efforts to end the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) international isolation, adding that efforts should continue for a settlement on the island in line with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annans Cyprus plan.

    [10] Statement by the National Security Council following its meeting

    The following press statement was publishing in the Ankara Office of the National Security Council Secretariat ( HYPERLINK "http://www.mgk.gov.tr" http://www.mgk.gov.tr) (22.06.06):

    1. The National Security Council held its regular meeting on 22 June 2006.

    2. At the meeting:

    A. A comprehensive assessment was made regarding domestic and international developments from the standpoint of the nation's security, and the importance of continuing the struggle against terrorism was stressed.

    B. The current situation in the Middle East was evaluated within the framework of the Palestinian national administration and the general elections held in Israel; particularly stressed were the need for the parties involved to avoid steps that might escalate the violence, and for the establishment of a political atmosphere suitable for launching negotiations, as well as the importance of continuing the special relations that our country has developed with both sides, in order to bring about a solution of the problems via negotiations, and of continuing our aid activities aimed at improving the unfavorable living conditions in which the Palestinian people find themselves.

    C. The screening process being conducted under 35 headings following the opening of accession negotiations with the European Union on 3 October 2005, and the membership negotiations phase initiated on 12 June 2005 [as published; evident error for 2006] were assessed; it was confirmed that the process of joining the European Union will be continued in a determined manner, in line with our national interests.

    D. The goal, basic principles, and impact on our country of the Single European Air Space project, which is an approach aimed at providing for a common European air space, as well as the efforts aimed at adapting to this project, were discussed, and measures that will be taken by the relevant institutions aimed at joining the Single European Air Space were evaluated.

    E. Additionally, national goals and strategies within the framework of our health policy, activities conducted within the scope of the Transformation in Health program, and activities carried out in the health field in our Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia region were taken up.

    [11] Controversy in Turkey over whether Erdogan´s adviser is linked to Islamic terrorism financier

    Istanbul NTV Online (22.06.06) publishes the following report from Ankara:

    Allegations that Minster [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan's advisor Cuneyd Zapsu has a partnership relationship with Yasin al-Qadi, whom the United Nations Security Council has pointed to as a financier of terrorism, has created a controversy. [Minister of Finance Kemal] Unakitan has stated that a report [on the matter] has been sent to the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor.

    Minister of Finance Kemal Unakitan said that the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) conducted an investigation of this issue and drew up a report. Unakitan gave a harsh response to claims that he had hidden the report under his desk pad [i.e., suppressed the report]. Saying that "These are ugly accusations; let them come and look under my desk pad", the Finance Minister declared that the report was sent to the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor.

    The CHP [opposition Republican People's Party], which brought the matter to the agenda of the National Assembly, charged that the inspector who investigated the matter has been dismissed, and that the ministry has not given a clear answer on this question. Kemal Unakitan also said, with regard to claims in the State Inspection Report that his son had, by importing large quantities of corn, caused losses for the Agricultural Products Office, that "A review is conducted about all the KITs [State Economic Enterprises]; the evaluations are not objective."

    As for Cuneyd Zapsu himself, he has described the reports that have appeared in the press as "old and stale allegations". Zapsu responded to questions as to whether or not he had a partnership relationship with Yasin al-Qadi by saying "These allegations were investigated before."

    Cuneyd Zapsu said: "Nothing has been pushed under the desk pad. I have no immunity. Whatever is required will be done." Claiming that he had earlier been accused of being with the PKK and now is being accused of ties to Al-Qa'ida, Zapsu, when asked whether or not he was acquainted with Yasin al-Qadi, replied "Naturally I know Yasin al-Qadi."

    Cuneyd Zapsu did not respond to a question as to whether or not he had deposited money into an account that Al-Qadi maintained in a private financial institution in Turkey.

    [12] The occupied areas of the Republic suffer from the Brucella and Meadi-visna animal diseases

    Under the title Brucella and Meadi-visna have not been wiped out, Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (23.06.06) reports that animals in the occupied areas of the Republic are suffering from the animal diseases Brucella and Meadi-visna.

    According to the paper, the diseases result to be a threat to the economy of the illegal regime, while the project entitled Meadi-visna which was introduced and implemented in January 2006 for dealing with the disease, is to bear fruit at the end of this year.

    Meadi-visna animal disease appeared for the first time in 1998 in the region of occupied Famagusta and Mesaoria.

    (M/L)

    [13] The National Security Council discussed whether membership to European Airspace will mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish CUMHURIYET newspaper (23.06.06) reported that the National Security Council (MGK) members discussed national security, relations with EU and Palestine issue in its meeting which took place yesterday in Ankara. They affirmed that EU accession process will be carried out in a determined manner and in line with national interests. Also they discussed whether membership to European Airspace will mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus or not.

    [14] Mesut Yilmaz: I may return to politics

    CNN Turk television (13.06.06) broadcast that former Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Mesut Yilmaz, stated that he is starting contacts with the aim of returning to active politics.

    Mr Yilmaz and former State Minister Gunes Taner are being tried for interfering in the tender for Turkbank while in office.

    (K/V)

    [15] Turkish army exercise for the press became real attack against PKK. National Defense data on casualties since the Kurdish uprising in 1984

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (22.06.06) publishes the following report under the title: Exercise turns real:

    An attack by helicopter gunships against PKK militants as part of a firepower demonstration for the press by the units of the Second Army Command and planned by the General Staff became a real attack.

    A group of terrorists were spotted using night vision equipment on Mt Cudi near Sirnak at around 1630 GMT the other evening. When the situation was reported to the 23rd Gendarmerie Border Division in Sirnak Cobra gunships that were going to stage a night attack against PKK positions as part of a firepower demonstration for the press were sent into the area. The operation began at around 1700 GMT and continued until first light. Once the area was under daylight likely places for the terrorists to hide were identified and pounded by mortars and artillery. The operation continued during the day with artillery and mortar fire, and in the evening with helicopters.

    In another report Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (22.06.06) writes the following:

    The Ministry of National Defense has announced that, in the past 22 years starting from 1984, as a result of the struggle waged against terrorism, and particularly against the PKK, "5,968 security personnel, consisting of 5,504 members of the Turkish Armed Forces and 464 Security Directorate [i.e., police] personnel, have been martyred." When the response provided by the Ministry of National Defense to the parliamentary question lodged by CHP [opposition Republican People's Party] Izmir Parliamentarian Ahmet Ersin is compared with the report entitled "Evaluation of Internal Security Operations" prepared by the Office of the Chief of the General Staff in December of 2000, it becomes evident that the security forces have lost 115 martyrs in the past six years.

    According to the response from the Ministry, 11,794 TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] personnel were wounded during the same period; of these, 3,444 became disabled veterans, while 8,350 recovered. 3,254 Security Directorate personnel were wounded; 268 personnel became disabled due to their official duties.

    In the report from the Office of the Chief of the General Staff, it is stated that "In the struggle against the PKK terrorist organization, which has been waged with great self-sacrifice for years now in every sort of terrain and weather conditions, 5,853 martyrs have been lost, while 11,946 TSK and security forces personnel have been wounded."

    The CHP's Ahmet Ersin criticized the response from the Ministry of National Defense, saying "It is seen from the statistical data that 115 martyrs have been lost in the past six years. It is also clear that the great majority of our martyrs from the security forces were lost following the PKK's breaking of the ceasefire in June of 2004. Martyrs' funerals have begun to be held almost every day in our mosques. These figures are evidence that the government has no will in the struggle against terrorism, and that it is confused."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIAL AND ANALYSIS

    [16] Summary of reports and commentaries on issues from the Turkish agenda

    YENI SAFAK (22.06.06) publishes an article entitled "Why do you remain silent now?" by columnist Ibrahim Karagul. Karagul claims that secret operations carried out by the Lebanese police have revealed Israel to be implicated in the killing of ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and that Lebanon is discussing whether to file a complaint against Israel with the UN Security Council. Karagul recalls how the mainstream Turkish media "acted on behalf of Israel" in holding Syria responsible for the assassination and slams the accusers of Damascus in the Turkish press for "remaining silent" in the face of the (alleged) finding that the United States and Israel were involved in the Hariri murder.

    Vakit newspaper (22.06.06) publishes an article entitled "Bomber NCO not expelled from the army yet" by columnist Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu. Karahasanoglu slams the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) for not announcing what punitive action it is planning to take against the two non-commissioned officers who have been sentenced to 39 years in prison each for taking part in the Semdinli incident. Karahasanoglu interprets the fact that one of the non-commissioned officers is being treated at the GATA military hospital as meaning that he is still a member of the TSK and claims that this situation amounts to an attempt to influence the judiciary in favour of the suspects.

    In an article entitled "What defiant reaction are they talking about after Cyprus has been lost already?" in Milli Gazete (22.06.06) columnist Hasan Unal lambastes Prime Minister Erdogan for his recent "ridiculous" statements declaring that Turkey would never "sacrifice the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]" for the sake of EU membership and that Turkey will never open its ports to the Greek Cypriots until the isolation of North Cyprus has been removed. Unal asserts that the AKP is responsible for turning the KKTC into a "cardboard state" by scrapping long-standing Turkish policies on Cyprus intended to prevent the European Union from admitting the Greek Cypriots to membership and get the KKTC recognized by the Organization of Islamic Conference.

    In a column in Istanbul MILLIYET (22.06.06), Melih Asik views the quick ruling of the Criminal Court in Van on the Semdinli case and wonders how the court decided on the matter in one and a half months when other court cases take years to be settled. He also wonders how a newspaper, which is known to be a PKK mouthpiece, was able to predict that the verdict would be disclosed at the end of the fourth hearing on 19 June.

    In a report in Istanbul HURRIYET (22.06.06), Turan Yilmaz argues that Prime Minister Erdogan, who challenged the EU on the Cyprus problem, will take yet another step and visit the island on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974. Yilmaz says that Erdogan will inform the EU and the Greek Cypriot side, which threatened to use its veto, as follows: "Concessions will definitely not be made on Cyprus unless you take concrete steps for a solution."

    MILLIYET newspaper (22.06.06) reports that speaking to guest commanders during the Anatolian Eagle 2006/2 exercises at the 3rd Main Jet Aircraft Base Command Headquarters, Gen Faruk Comert, commander of the Turkish Air Force, yesterday said that one of Greece's military planes caused the recent accident over the Aegean by hitting the under part of one of Turkey's F-16 planes. The report by Ali Guler and Ismail Akkaya in Istanbul MILLIYET quotes Gen Comert as saying that a commission has been set up to investigate the incident. The report notes that 6 F-16 planes and 82 personnel from Pakistan, 3 Mirage F-1 planes and 39 personnel from France, 10 F-16 planes and 158 personnel from the United States, and 39 F-5, F-16, and F-4 planes and 600 personnel from Turkey, and a NATO AWACS plane are participating in the exercises.

    /SK


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